Clinical trial studies for heavy periods in women has found that having a commonly prescribed treatment from a general practitioner would greatly help rather than hospital operations.
About 1 million people in UK suffer from severe menstrual bleeding every year which accounts for about 12% of gynecology treatment.
‘Heavy menstrual bleeding in women can be treated using prescribed medicines from general practitioner according to clinical trials.’
Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common type of abnormal bleeding from the uterus which affects about 25% of the women who are between the age of 18 -54.
A team of researchers from the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Aston University carried out a multicenter NIHR - funded randomised trial by following 571 women from 63 general practices for a five year period.
The study was conducted by randomly allocating either levonorgesterel intra uterine system as that of mirena oil or commonly prescribed oral medications like tranexamic/mefenamic acid or contraceptive pill for the patients and were asked to report their menstrual experiences.
The menstrual experiences of the patients were recorded using the Menorrhagia Multi-attribute scale. This scale measures the issues on practical problems, social life , psychological and physical health , surgical treatments and sexual life during heavy periods.
The results of the study after five years suggested that both groups had a notable improvement in heaviness of periods and quality of life. The number of cases associated with surgical treatments like endometrial ablation or hysterectomy was also found to be low in both the groups.
Joe Kai, GP, Professor of Primary Care and lead author of the study said that "This is very encouraging news. Women were badly affected by heavy menstrual bleeding when they entered this trial, with most having problems for over a year beforehand. We know some women may be reluctant to seek help or be unaware that treatment is useful. Others may be put off by the idea of some treatments, such as having a coil, or of needing surgery. This trial shows women can be helped very considerably by treatments from their GP alone, with most avoiding hospital procedures up to five years later. It also shows women starting with either a Mirena coil or other oral medications will have similar benefit over time. This is helpful for women and their GPs to know when first considering what treatments to use, taking account of individual preferences and circumstances. If women troubled by heavy menstrual bleeding do choose to see their GP, we can be confident we can help."
The study findings are published in the British Journal of General Practice
and the researchers are following the study for the next five years with the same patients as most of them would have reached menopause and results would help to assess if they were following the treatment from the general practitioner or require surgery for treatment.